In our last two articles, we have discussed considerations you, the dispensary owner, should make when doing business with a grower, such as whether the grower is reliable as a producer as well whether the grower has good customer service and availability. Both are important considerations when purchasing flower from an Oklahoma Cannabis Cultivator.
In this article, we are going to discuss another very important consideration: how important is it that the cannabis comes from a clean facility? The short answer is very, as in, it is very important that you purchase your flower from a grower with an extremely clean facility. In this article, we will discuss what exactly makes for a sanitary cultivation operation.
Cleanliness and Sanitation Procedures are very important in Cannabis Cultivation
Cannabis Cultivation facilities should be clean for many reasons. The obvious is that the end-product is one that will ultimately be consumed by other people. And you wouldn’t want to ingest a product that came from a dirty facility.
But there are other important reasons.
Cannabis Cultivation facilities are indoor ecosystems, and what you cultivate…is what you cultivate. In other words, there are worlds of organisms that exist and will exist in a cannabis cultivation facility.
Cannabis plants will attract pests and insects and other organisms, which will attract other organisms, which will attract other organisms… and it will keep going on.
So the cultivator must control her environment so that the only thing(s) growing are purposeful and intentional and not unwanted or unknown.
What types of contaminants pose a threat to Cannabis Cultivators in Oklahoma?
Indoor Cannabis Cultivation is all about maintaining your environment. When cannabis is cultivated indoors – whether a closet, bedroom, or commercial facility — that space becomes a new ecosystem. Many types of organisms will suddenly populate the area, all because they were attracted to the plant.
Bacteria and fungi may accumulate, multiply, and spread, due to environmental conditions such as humidity and airflow (or lack of). Powdery Mildew is a huge threat to cannabis, and precautions must be taken to ensure that powdery mildew does not exist and spread.
Insects and pests may suddenly appear in the area. There are many types of insects that are attracted to cannabis and pose real threats to survival of the plants. The many varieties of mites – Russet Mites, Spider Mites, Broad Mites and Cyclamen Mites – as well as Aphids and Thrips all can wreak havoc on cannabis plants. These insects will attach to the plant, and eat away, causing the plant to become malnourished, disfigured, lacking in potency and overall health, and ultimately can cause the plant to die.
The worst part about these pests is that most are microscopic and cannot be seen without a microscope or jeweler’s loupe. Therefore, cultivators are always on the lookout for any symptoms that could indicate the existence of one of these pests. The good cultivation facilities have microscopes and other magnification tools onsite and in the hands of the grow technicians, who then regularly patrol the aisles for any sign of a pest or contaminant.
Good Sanitation Procedures Protect the Indoor Environment from Outside Contaminants
The best thing a cultivator can do to protect its environment from outside contaminants is to implement clean-room procedures and then strictly enforce and adhere to those procedures.
The best procedures are limiting what actually goes into the grow rooms. Grow technicians should wear only clean, sanitized clothes such as scrubs that have not been worn outside the facility. Wearing clean shoes or adorning outside shoes with coverings is another good precaution.
Monitoring who has access to the grow rooms and what is brought in and out of the facility is very important. Monitoring and inspecting deliveries of soil, nutrients and other supplies.
And most of all: deep cleaning procedures are a must! The individual grow rooms as well as the entire facility should be cleaned frequently, with bleach and other disinfectants. All tools should be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol daily. All tables and tools used in harvesting should be cleaned before being used on the next generation. Drip pans, grow tables and stands, should all be scrubbed and cleaned frequently.
Smokey Okies Cannabis Grow Op uses the Best Sanitation Practices in Oklahoma
At Smokey Okies, we take the utmost precautions with regard to preventing outside contaminants from polluting our crop.
Our rooms have expoxy flooring and FRP paneling on the walls. The floors and the walls are cleaned frequently. Our drip plans are scrubbed and power-washed. Our tools are soaked and cleaned in alcohol.
Our grow technicians change out of their street clothes and into scrubs before beginning their work day. They wear gloves and special shoes or booties in the grow rooms. When they take lunch or leave the facility, they change out of their scrubs, which are discarded into the laundry hamper. When they return, a fresh set of scrubs are worn.
We do laundry daily at our grow, and we clean everything. We take great precaution to prevent the cultivation and spread of any pathogen, bacteria, fungi or insect group.
In conclusion, when shopping for cannabis flower from different growers, you should inquired as to the grower’s sanitation procedures. It is worth knowing where your flower came from.